Greta’s Alberta Visit
an Opportunity for
By CODY BATTERSHILL
Calgary Realtor & Founder/Spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca
fast in Canada’s
It sometimes feels like
we need an army of
educators and advocates to keep up with it.
A perfect example was Greta Thunberg
and her recent series of climate marches
in North America.
When the young climate activist announced
via social media early this week that she
would continue her world tour by heading
to Alberta after having led demonstrations
in New York City, Montreal and elsewhere,
many Albertans quickly saw it as an
opportunity to provide her with some
After all, Ms. Thunberg would want to learn
during her visit that Alberta is home to
western Canada’s largest wind farm, and the
future location of Canada’s largest solar
installation. She’d want to know our sparsely
populated country ranks ninth for installed
wind capacity globally, while our province was
the site of Canada’s first wind farm way back
in 1994 – almost a decade before her birth.
An Alberta visit would be the perfect
opportunity for the young Swedish student
to recognize our province’s enviable record,
since 2007, as America’s only top oil
supplier with carbon pricing initiatives in
place. And she’d learn about Canada’s
leadership on carbon capture and storage
given we’re home to about 20 percent of the
world’s large commercialized facilities.
In short, a visit to Alberta would show Greta
that the world needs more Canadian energy.
Looking back at her visit, we may or may not
have been successful at making her under-
stand the incredible value in encouraging
Canadian oil and gas over less regulated
product from oppressive regimes. But we’re
confident others got the message.
Greta’s Alberta tour was the perfect occasion
for interested parties to understand how
fully 82 percent of Canada’s electricity
comes from non-emitting sources – a fact
that places us among the highest percentages throughout the world. And she’ll learn
in Alberta that Canada ranks fourth globally
on the clean-tech index with a dozen of our
companies listed in the top 100.
Greta likely would have already known the
International Energy Agency says global
demand for oil will continue to rise over the
long term. But a visit to Alberta would help
show her and others that, in the absence of
available Canadian oil on the global market
due to a lack of pipeline capacity,
non-democratic national actors with horrendous environmental and human rights
records would be the victors while Canada
would be forced to sit on the sidelines.
Our human rights, environmental and
worker and community safety requirements
are the global gold standard. Next to our
competitors like Saudi Arabia where young
women Greta’s age face a dismal future
indeed, there is really no comparison.
Further, a visit to Alberta would help Greta
see how resource governance index rankings
have led countries all over the world to look
to Canada as a model for responsible
resource regulation. She’d see with her own
eyes how Canada‘s energy industry is leading
the world in reducing emissions through
An Alberta visit would also help Greta and
others around the world understand that if
our standards for producing oil were applied
globally, emissions from production would
decline by 23 percent, which is equivalent to
taking 100,000,000 cars off the road.
Visiting Alberta would allow Greta and others
to recognize Canada has spent more than
$118 billion on foreign oil since 2012 with
about 80 percent having come from
countries without carbon pricing and with
inferior rankings on the Sustainable
Development Index. She’d learn that only
10. 5 percent of the world’s oil production is
subject to carbon pricing initiatives and, of
that, Canada represents almost half.
Greta has made amazing progress in
elevating the important climate issue
globally. We all care about this issue, and we
all seek practical, workable solutions. I hope
her recent visit to Alberta provided her and
her millions of followers the opportunity to
gain some important knowledge about how
we produce much-needed oil and gas to the
highest standards of environment, health,
safety and human and worker rights on earth
while making the largest single contribution
to Canada's economy.
Once she has the time to pause and to
consider her Alberta findings with her
experiences in other supplier regimes – and
for comparative purposes I’d suggest she
visit Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela for
starters – then I’m certain she’ll understand
the world needs more Canadian energy.
But let me finish where I started. Our
community keeps growing. So if you feel
motivated to become an advocate for Canadian
energy products and the families and
communities they support, please visit our
web site listed below. We’d love your help!
Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and
founder / spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca,
a volunteer built organization that supports
Canadian energy development and the
environmental, social and economic
benefits that come with it.